Sunday, January 22, 2012

Obituary: Sidney Sweet

MADISON - Sidney Sweet, age 93, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.

Sidney, the eldest child of Max and Libby Sweet was born in Duluth, Minn., on the original Armistice Day. Nov. 11, 1918, and as he came into the world, a world at war found peace. The Sweet family survived the Great Depression in Madison's beloved Greenbush section. Sidney would sell newspapers and began to learn the family trade from his father, the laundry and dry cleaning business. But, there was always some time if not money for his true passions - big band music and dancing. War came again to the world and Sidney answered the call serving four years as a medic with the Eighth Air Force in England.

After the war, Sidney set out to establish his own laundry and dry cleaning business in Beaver Dam with Eager Beaver Laundry and then in Madison with Bold Cleaners, NuLife-Spotless, Spic and Span and Quality Service Laundry and Cleaners. After closing the business, the hard work ethic learned at his parents' side during the Depression would continue. Sidney worked for both Dane County Public Works at the Verona landfill and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Madison. In addition, he started another business, Sweet Tees and Sportswear, teaching himself the screen printing business and selling collegiate souvenirs at Wisconsin and Iowa sporting events. He also operated two gift stores in Wisconsin Dells and one in Madison.

Sidney was a charter member of Beth Israel Center. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors and the Ritual Committee, he was a member of the Madison Jewish Burial Society for 25 years. Sidney organized and hosted seven free big band reunion dances in Madison. He also wrote a book, "Greenbush USA, I Lived There" covering his early experiences in the "Bush." After living in Madison nearly 70 years, Sidney moved to Las Vegas, Nev., where he spent his later years dancing and enjoying the big band music at the local casinos. He soaked in the Vegas scene as only he could.

Sidney is survived by his three children, Mark (Linda Eyers) Sweet of Wisconsin Dells, Larry (Sandra) Sweet of Northbrook, Ill., and Nori Nathanson of Chandler, Ariz. He is also survived by his sister, Betty of St. Paul, Minn.; and his sister-in-law, Connie Largent of Brownstown, Ill. Sidney's special partner Eda Bade provided him with so much love and compassion making his later years more comfortable. Sidney is also survived by his grandchildren, Nicole, Joel and Bryan Nathanson, Bradley Sweet; and step-grandchildren, Brian (Angy) Lundeen and Aaron (Melissa) Lundeen; and several nieces and nephews.

Sidney was preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Sophie; his parents, Max and Libby Sweet; his brother, Allan; his sister, Lillian; and sister, Bertha.

Sidney was born in peace and fittingly he is now at peace, again. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, at 1 p.m. at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 22, 2012 (submitted by his cousin, Gloria Frank, Class of 1955).

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